General Question

andrew's avatar

Forsooth, I've slain my plants, what shall I do?

Asked by andrew (15771 points ) August 24th, 2008

Diana’s verdant gift hath not prevailed.
My firecracker plants are lain to waste
As if a blight from Hades breath
was summoned here. Their tendrils
cracked and dried and black and brittle,
no more will they the sunlight seek again.

What now, I ask thee, shall this gardener do?
What hanging plant, like Nisus’ crimson locks
unshorn cascading down from heaven’s perch,
shall now replace these dull and inky fronds?
What new arrival shall not need such care
as was forgotten—left to wither here?

O whither shall I go to seek a vine
as will provide a simple, stoic bloom
that, as the spark in Helen’s eye begat
the epic launching of a thousand ships,
shall provide a thousand wistful smiles
as striding past, we notice day-to-day?

Do tell, good jelly, how I may repair
the blunder turning foul that once was fair?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

38 Answers

eambos's avatar

I have no idea, but I love how you have written your question!

marinelife's avatar

(I started to respond in iambic pentameter, and then said, “forget it!”)

Be of good cheer, hapless gardener. There is a plant that even you cannot kill. The mighty philodendron will withstand great neglect, requires only water and has nice shiny foliage.

I like the variegated variety.

andrew's avatar

Does it have blooms?

gailcalled's avatar

No. Since you are looking for horticulture rather than poetry, I would suggest either a
Christmas Cactus,Easter Cactus or Thanksgiving
Cactus.

All flower, look good in hanging pots, produce children and grandchildren you can put up for adoption and need only good light and some water.

Verdant blooms indeed.

Snoopy's avatar

I second Marina’s first line.

Seeking clarification:
How much sun exposure are we talking about? In or outside hanging plant?

andrew's avatar

Good light, partial direct sun, indoor. Needs to be hanging and vine-like (lines 8–9) and hardy (line 11). Philodendron is perfect but I’d love to have something with blooms (third stanza).

I think it was the transplanting that killed the firecracker plant, anyway. The succulent I transplanted survived just fine.

susanc's avatar

Poor Phoebus, by his human foe maligned
Hath cancelled out the gard’ner’s efforts truly.
Yet let him not be blamed; for it is thee
and thee alone who has been so unruly.

Get thee aspar’gus fern; O yes; and also
Lovely, tough and verdant spiderplant.
These never make a flow’r yet are background
For nursery-forced* blooming plants you want,

Which you may buy at local Groc’ry Store
and Watch in Happiness without much sorrow
then give to Compost Pile when death comes nigh
Which certainly it will. But till tomorrow

Enjoy the pink and ribanded-with-yellow,
Peach and orange, red and lilac glories
Of Groc’ry Store forced bloomers which were never
Meant to last; and so adieu to worries.

*please pronounced in 2 syllables in order to scan properly

Snoopy's avatar

I think throwing in the “blooming” request is what is going to throw most people. You have me stumped. Gailcalled’s suggestion would probably be best. Although you should know that the blooming is usually only one time/year for a few weeks.

I consider myself a greenthumb, but I can never get Christmas cactus plants to bloom a second time after purchase…...so just a warning

andrew's avatar

What about any of these blooming vines?

Snoopy's avatar

@ andrew: the only one on the list that I have personally grown is Bougainvillea. And it requires full blistering sun. Envision full sun in Mexico, kind of sun. Definitely not indoor….

Tantigirl's avatar

Hey andrew, how about a wisteria? You’d have to make sure you pruned back it’s extra tendrils (or as my little bloke says, cut off it’s arms) otherwise it’ll get away from you. They have lovely flowers.

Snoopy's avatar

@tanti: for an indoor hanging basket?

Tantigirl's avatar

@Snoopy – well sure a BIG basket.

gailcalled's avatar

The Easter and Thanksgiving ones may bloom twice. And I have kept Xmas cacti for years.

gailcalled's avatar

Andrew; re vines; Mandevilla: A friend had one. It grew and had to be repotted until it weighted about 16 tons.(How’‘s your back?) He hauled it inside every winter (zone 4) and it is a giant plant. (Gorgeous, though.)

“One of the most striking blooming vines ever grown, Mandevilla is a bushy vine with large, deep-throated trumpet-shaped flowers.become woody and support flexible branches that can grow as long as 10 feet. It is most frequently used outdoors in the summer on a patio, trellis or fence. If you have a brightly lighted location indoors, cut it back and bring it in for the winter. Don’t be surprised if Mandevilla drops all of its leaves and goes dormant in mid- to late winter. Let it rest for a month or two (no fertilizer and very little water) and it should start growing again just as spring arrives. Mandevilla does actually twine, so it should be given a trellis for support.”

breedmitch's avatar

Get thee to a nursery.

augustlan's avatar

I second Marina’s philo suggestion. I have the brownest thumb in history, and even I cannot kill one of these. I ignore them for weeks, they let me know how unhappy they are by wilting and drooping over the sides of their pots, I finally water them and the next day they’ve sprung back to life, as if I’ve lovingly tended them all along. Flowering plants inside are over-rated. Get a beautiful bouqet of fresh flowers every week, instead. All the color, none of the care!

marinelife's avatar

Andrew, my problem is not the indoor flowering vine thing. It is the kill plants thing. Still, if you think this first death was a fluke, indoor jasmine is a vine and flowers. it also has a wonderful fragrance. It takes more care than philodendrons or asparagus ferns (which, BTW, susanc _do_flower), but could work for you.

susanc's avatar

Edit: “pronounce”, not “pronounced”

susanc's avatar

Asparagus ferns flower? All the better. Woo hoo Marina.
But now, did my faux-Alexander-Pope not carry a message? Well….. so how about a bunch of green, nice-textured, tough plants you can enjoy year-round, e.g. philodendron, spiderplant
(which hangs in a nice jungly way and makes many babies), some nice ficus trees,
and the above-mentioned asparagus fern, which flowers and also a gives you refined texture; xmas and easter cactus; and then add flowering azaleas, amaryllis, gloxinia, jasmine (divine), cineraria and other really florid living plants and/or cut flowers to provide color. Many such potted plants will not prosper for long; they’re not designed to. But they’ll look wonderful for a few weeks. They offer love affairs,
the greenies partnerships. Have some of each.
Mandevilla has a scarily toxic leaf, I think. But is fabulously dramatic.

jcs007's avatar

After seeing the interesting wording of the question and then struggling through the poem (I’m not very good with words… if you give me numbers, then I’m in my happy place), I felt compelled to give an answer.

From what I understand, you need a new plant? And from the few words I understood (dull, whither, stoic), I think you should get a fancy cactus.

andrew's avatar

@susanc:
Notice the GA I gave you?

I have 4 spots on which to drape these plants. See the prior owner’s philodendrae (?) here

cheebdragon's avatar

wisteria is one of the top 5 poisonous plants, it’s a shame because it is very pretty.

richardhenry's avatar

The entire question made zero sense to me the first time, because I read “plants” as “pants”.

cheebdragon's avatar

I did the same thing, LOL

syz's avatar

A heartleaf philodendron can be found in a beautiful variegated form (lovely verdant green with bright yellow green stripe down the center of each leaf) and is less leggy than some of the other philo vines.

While mandavilla is a lovely vine, I’ve never tried to grow one indoors. If you’re not fond of pink, it now also comes in a lovely red variant.

I agree that bougainvillea will most likely not do well in an indoor setting, unless you have some stupendous light. They tend to get ratty looking in lower light.

You may have to sacrifice significant blooms for longevity and adaptability.

(Oh, and awesome question format.)

richardhenry's avatar

Forsooth, I’ve slain my pants…

augustlan's avatar

Must work that into conversation somehow!

gailcalled's avatar

My sister grows a bougainvillea in an extremely large pot – outdoors in a NE summer and inside during the winter in a southern exposure next to a wall of glass. Plant is beautiful and flourishes and blooms, but getting it in and out is not for sissies.

Philos are safe and boring and gets VERY leggy. Maybe you are thinking of the Platonic plant – hanging vine for inside that flowers 12 months of the year.That would be a better mousetrap.. Let me know whether you find one.

marinelife's avatar

@richardhenry Best Fluther laugh since frizzer answers. The mental images of what “slain pants” might entail . . . or possible follow ons, for example:

. . .but my shirt still lives.

. . .but better to have slain than stained.

. . .and must run, free as a bird, into the night.

kruger_d's avatar

I have not grown it myself, but hear that jasmine can be grown indoors. It is pretty rather than stoic, but it smells heavenly.

prince's avatar

Brilliant.

chyna's avatar

I read it as pants too! And I am not drinking.

aprilsimnel's avatar

::reads question:: ::blinks:: CLAPCLAPCLAPCLAPCLAP!!! GQ!

susanc's avatar

@andrew I see your philodendra and I raise you eighteen grocery- store chrysanthema.

talljasperman's avatar

Buy some new ones.

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